February 24, 2024

BALTIMORE — A woman thought she made a love connection on an online gaming site, then he convinced her to invest her life savings in a fake opportunity.

Torchy Massie was courted by someone online who contacted her through Words with Friends. “This gentleman, he asked me if I would play with him,” said Massie.

He said his name was Michael, he was also widowed. And after a year of messaging and talking on the phone, he brought up an investment opportunity.

“All I had was $35,000 and they were going to invest it in Bitcoin. When my husband was alive, he was interested in doing that,” said Massie. “And I’m thinking, well, when I die, I want to leave my kids some money and this is a good way to do it.”

She received statements showing her investment had grown to a small fortune. The statement, purportedly from a company called Corral Investments in the United Kingdom, claimed her initial investment had grown to $960,780. However, the website listed on the statement – www.corralinvestments.com – now redirects to a page that shows the website domain is for sale.

“I had to come up with $17,000, I think, to get the money out of there. And to come up with that I didn’t have the money. And when I talked to my friend, Carole, we were playing Words with Friends, she said, ‘Torchy, that’s not how an investment works,’” Massie recalled.

Her friend quickly realized she’d been scammed, but Massie is still reluctant.

“He says that money is there that he would help me…

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